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Vox Article: Smug Style of Liberals

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Emmit Rensin, Vox, April 21, 2016: The smug style in American liberalism

    Emmit Rensin wrote a pretty good article that, in some sense, describes me. Resin presents an argument that liberals like me have an "attitude" so to speak against those who just "don't know" but are unmovable in their beliefs. He uses the expression Knowing to describe us, and cites examples like Kim Davis whose actions just seemed so disdainful to us.

    I plead guilty if that is what he calls liberalism. But liberalism itself is an elusive term subject to varying degrees of certitude depending on the issue. The true liberal on all issues is probably an ideologue. However, with respect to people like Sarah Palin and Kim Davis, Rensin might describe my attitude towards them as a "smug style". Perhaps so, but maybe even more than smug...just outright contempt. I will agree, nevertheless, with one of his concluding paragraphs:

    "This, I think, is fundamental to understanding the smug style. If good politics and good beliefs are just Good Facts and good tweets — that is, if there is no ideology beyond sensible conclusions drawn from a rational assessment of the world — then there are no moral fights, only lying liars and the stupid rubes who believe them."

    I added the bolding. Anyway, I found the article interesting...

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Liberalism is being aware that your viewers may be flawed and willing to change them with proof - conservatism is not being aware that you could be wrong and never admitting it if you discover you are.

    Conservatism is sorta like supporting a particular candidate because she says what you want to hear but really knowing she is conning you. Liberalism is sorta like voting for the best of the worst because (well, we all know why)!

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    pr Wrote:

    Liberalism is being aware that your viewers may be flawed and willing to change them with proof - conservatism is not being aware that you could be wrong and never admitting it if you discover you are.

    Conservatism is sorta like supporting a particular candidate because she says what you want to hear but really knowing she is conning you. Liberalism is sorta like voting for the best of the worst because (well, we all know why)!

    It is a pity that only these two "ism's" count here; neither one complies with common sense thinking; not all things in life fit "ism's". Especially down here "broad" minded thinking is the far from my bed show.
  • Independent
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    the reverse is true meaning conservatives are the same way.

    imo humans have "attitude" regarding issues that core to so-called core values/beliefs. these core values/beliefs are seldom changed but can be. thus actions by others that run counter to these core values/beliefs are treated disdainfully by the holder. this should not be surprising.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch, pr, and lonely bird -- All excellent thoughts and perspectives. Certainly the two "isms" are not reflective of most of America because they either have a mix of the two isms, or rather perhaps as Dutch suggest, they are just apathetic and don't have an opinion unless it affects them directly. Maybe the term for them is "no nothingism". In any case, the media are consumed with bucketing people into stereotypes that fit their idea of liberals and conservatives.

    The other point is that for much of the populace, both liberal and conservative views evolve. Just look at how the opinions on the LGBT community and gay marriage have evolved in the past seven years since Obama became president. Even Obama admits that his views evolved in that respect, perhaps influenced in part by Sasha and Malia's views.

    Much of the evolution of ideas must be credited to young people who are not burdened by the past experiences of the older generation. I think we can credit them for the evolution of the views on the LGBT community. They have an effect on their parents as well as their peers. Social media trumps mainstream media.

    Still there are many whose views are so deeply entrenched that they can never change. These are the Kim Davis's of this world, but also any liberal or conservative who is religiously indoctrinated from birth that they cannot possibly see or accept the other view.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    First, the article is not a compliment, second it should have left elitist in and be part of the characterization. "SMUG ELITIST". A synopsis of the article is "liberalism evolved is telling people how to live instead of helping them to live. The smug elitist tool for a good day's work is "calling them out". Racing to get their name attached to issues being more important than resolving the issues. The orator at wine and cheese pairings and tastings elevated from loud smoky union halls. The evolved liberal history book is "I Told You So". "Knowing" is the definition of incrementalism. The article itself is a satire for the evolved liberals relishing "knowing". Then there is the I know you know, now what?
  • Independent
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    this same article is cited by a conservative "two" on thom hartmann's website's message board.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Dutch, pr, and lonely bird -- All excellent thoughts and perspectives. Certainly the two "isms" are not reflective of most of America because they either have a mix of the two isms, or rather perhaps as Dutch suggest, they are just apathetic and don't have an opinion unless it affects them directly. Maybe the term for them is "no nothingism". In any case, the media are consumed with bucketing people into stereotypes that fit their idea of liberals and conservatives.

    The other point is that for much of the populace, both liberal and conservative views evolve. Just look at how the opinions on the LGBT community and gay marriage have evolved in the past seven years since Obama became president. Even Obama admits that his views evolved in that respect, perhaps influenced in part by Sasha and Malia's views.

    Much of the evolution of ideas must be credited to young people who are not burdened by the past experiences of the older generation. I think we can credit them for the evolution of the views on the LGBT community. They have an effect on their parents as well as their peers. Social media trumps mainstream media.

    Still there are many whose views are so deeply entrenched that they can never change. These are the Kim Davis's of this world, but also any liberal or conservative who is religiously indoctrinated from birth that they cannot possibly see or accept the other view.

    Yes Schmidt; you've got the picture. That is the reason why in countries where they have a multi party system, it is a better representation of the population mix. That is why I, coming from such system, am an independent, with a question mark, because I don't fit either party. That is the reason why our government does not represent a big part of the population. This will also create extremism , as well often makes half ass decisions which only fit either the right or left sides. I struggle to elect anyone, because all candidates either think left or right but nothing in between; at least Bernie tries, but is handicapped by, as they say, far left idea's; like socialism, So the battle between (far) right and (far) left continues; like tea parties and socialism, money versus no-money, church versus no-church, military versus less militarism, etc. etc.

    Another corrupt point here is, especially in the "primary" that I'm forced to select that I'm either a Democrat or GOP and can't vote as an Independent. Typical. A very honest country indeed.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: Emmit Rensin wrote a pretty good article that, in some sense, describes me. Resin presents an argument that liberals like me have an "attitude" so to speak against those who just "don't know" but are unmovable in their beliefs. He uses the expression Knowing to describe us, and cites examples like Kim Davis whose actions just seemed so disdainful to us.

    I plead guilty if that is what he calls liberalism. But liberalism itself is an elusive term subject to varying degrees of certitude depending on the issue. The true liberal on all issues is probably an ideologue. However, with respect to people like Sarah Palin and Kim Davis, Rensin might describe my attitude towards them as a "smug style". Perhaps so, but maybe even more than smug...just outright contempt. I will agree, nevertheless, with one of his concluding paragraphs:

    I plead guilty then, as well.

    I try not to have an attitude against people who are willfully ignorant, but it's so difficult sometimes. People who refuse to deal in facts grind my gears far more than people who disagree with me, but have a thoughtful and educated reason as to why they do.

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    And, Ben Norton gets it correct again

    salon.com/2016/04/20/yes_bernie_sanders...

  • Independent
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    Btw, I find nothing more smug than the phrase "real Americans". I get the idea that liberals should be less smug but then so should everybody.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Unfortunately the term - "Real Americans" is an insult, not an honor. Real American have a lot to learn about life, the world and getting along with others.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    pr Wrote: Unfortunately the term - "Real Americans" is an insult, not an honor. Real American have a lot to learn about life, the world and getting ang with others.
    "Real Americans" don't exist; even the Indians were "imported" Vikings or something. In Europe they call it the "Ugly Americans" who think they know it all but refuse to adapt to other countries or learn from them. Like "healthcare" , "infrastructure" "having honest without money elections, where only the vote counts", "without militarism", "No greed", "good care for the disabled and elder's", "a sliding scale on taxes", "no religion in governing", no selected for life "supreme courts, "meddling all over the world" anyway there is a lot to learn here. What is a real American anyway? The one's who dictate others, because they have never been away from this "island" and are only indoctrinated by the media moguls here and the church?